Located in the western part of the German state of North Rihne-Westphalia, Duisburg is part of the Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf metropolitan area, along with the larger city of Düsseldorf. Thanks to its excellent positioning, access to the world’s largest in-land harbor, and proximity to a major international airport, the city is a commercial and industrial hub known primarily for its steelworks.
Duisburg has a population of close to 490,000 inhabitants, and ranks as the fifteenth most populous city in the country. Over time, the settlement absorbed numerous smaller towns in the surrounding area, resulting in today’s sprawling urban development.
As a major center of the Ruhr coal mining and steelmaking area, Duisburg’s development has been closely related to heavy industry. While in the recent decades, the contribution of mining and steelmaking to the local economy has decreased, the city is still home to the last remaining blast furnaces in the Ruhr region. According to the most recent statistics, almost half of all hot metal in Germany and one third of all pig-iron is processed in Duisburg.
But Duisburg is known for more than just heavy industry. The renowned Konig Pilsener beer is produced at a large brewery outside of Duisburg, and the town is also home to a university that enrolls close to 40,000 students, ranking in the top ten universities in the country.
The city’s cultural life centers around the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, one of the most prominent German institutions of its kind, and the philharmonic orchestra that regularly tours Europe.
Duisburg’s architectural patrimony includes various landmarks, from the Inland Waterways Museum, to the 1,100-year old St Johann the Baptist church, and the modernist Micro-Electronic-Centrum. Urban explorers should be happy to learn about the Landschaftspark, a former industrial complex that is now open for visiting. For shopping and promenade, Duisburg’s residents prefer the city center and its main commercial street, the so-called “fountain mile”, as well as the city’s parks and botanical garden.
Author: Raimond Spekking
© Raimond Spekking / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)
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